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FIC: The New Torch-Bearer (1/1)

Title: The New Torch-Bearer
Series: There's The Door!
Rating: T
Author: tkel_paris
Summary: Sarah Jane told Mickey in canon that the Doctor needed a Smith. What if she actually said it to the Doctor?
Disclaimer: I'd say the simple fact that Rose stayed on after the jealous fit she threw in “School Reunion” should be proof enough I own nothing.
Dedication: tardis_mole, for reminding me of Sarah Jane's comment.
Author's Note: I still don't believe Rose's reaction. How immature is that?! And Sarah Jane not giving her a lesson? Nor the Doctor? (sighs)

The New Torch-Bearer

Started May 27, 2012
Finished February 6, 2013


Oh, it had been ages – far more than he wanted to admit to – since Sarah Jane had spoken his name in a question. He hoped that his instincts were wrong, and that she would want to travel with him again. He could try to make it up to her for what his people had denied her. And if Rose had a problem with that?

Well, he hadn't thought that far ahead yet. But his instincts were also saying that Rose wouldn't like his answer. Which startled him to realize.

He mentally shook himself and drew back to reality. Reality being the Control Room, with Rose and Mickey and Sarah Jane standing with him. “Yes?' he said with a beaming smile.

Sarah Jane laughed. This Tenth Doctor was such a kid, it was too much sometimes. He really needed someone with some maturity, or he would be in trouble. Even with all that knowledge of the universe and time. “Sorry, but our time has passed.”

They both lost their smiles, remembering what had been and what they had dreamed of. He drew her into a hug before she could draw the breath to continue. Knowing that he had a new K-9 ready for her was a tiny comfort. Very tiny.

Rose frowned, but kept silent. She supposed she had to let him say goodbye to his past. It might help him toward his future. Their future.

Mickey kept silent for another reason. He knew what the former companion was going to say, and he also knew that Rose wouldn't take it well.

Sniffling, Sarah Jane pulled away and gathered herself together. “But I wanted to tell you that you're missing something right now.”

The Doctor blinked. “I am?”

“There needs to be a Smith in the TARDIS.”

It was Rose's turn to blink, rapidly. “You mean Mickey?”

The dismay in her voice made three people frown. “Yes, Mickey,” Sarah Jane said evenly. Her tone went dangerously calm, which made the Doctor nervous – he'd never heard her sound like a ticking bomb. “The Doctor needs someone to be the voice of reason, and to not encourage him to be reckless. To not distract him with their own silliness when there are so many things to worry about on any given adventure. Who brings something valuable to the TARDIS.”

The Doctor was silent. He wanted to see where Sarah – as he had sometimes called her – was going with this before he said anything. Might as well, he also thought, see how Rose handled it.

Rose squawked indignantly. “I saved his life! I've helped save the day! Of course I bring something to the TARDIS?”

Sarah Jane turned slowly to face her. “You also bring an immaturity that has no place in this ship. I can't speak to what the last Doctor was like, but this one seems like he tends toward immature behaviour well enough on his own. He needs someone with some common sense, and Mickey has it in abundance.”

Rose shook her head. “The Doctor calls him an idiot!”

The Doctor hung his head. Oh, that was one of his less-than-stellar moments. Meant as it was to wake the man up, not insult, Rose had taken it to heart. Probably because it fit her views about Mickey.

Sarah Jane scowled at the Doctor. “Funny, since I think he talks like he has a high IQ.”

Mickey blinked. “Really?!”

The Doctor smiled with quiet pride. Finally!

“Yes,” Sarah Jane said with a smile. “You did well with the computers. I think you have a bright future ahead of you, so long as you don't let anyone or anything be a millstone around your neck, holding you back.”

He could now see that Rose had been one. He'd played the idiot for her benefit, to the point where she clearly believed it of him. “But what about the Doctor? What does he want?”

“I hope,” Sarah Jane promptly said, preventing anyone else from answering, “that he wants to have companions who bring out his best traits, and who discourage his worse ones. Who make his work easier whenever and wherever possible. It's no good if he has to constantly make corrections because of the thoughtless actions of whoever is traveling with him. Unless,” she added, looking directly at the Doctor, “I'm wrong and Rose has been a rather mature companion for just turning eighteen years old.”

The Doctor blinked. “What?! I was told she was nineteen last year!”

“Who told you? She did?”

“I never said my age!”

Mickey groaned. “Oh, you're getting worse than your mum! You were sixteen when you ran off with him, not nineteen, you liar!”


“Shut up!” The Doctor was glad that he could still command immediate obedience – even with this face that seemed to attract unwanted attention more than any and all of his other ones – especially Five and Eight. Or the evidently shapely behind that he'd caught Rose ogling more than once. He scowled as he examined the occupants of the room.

Sarah Jane looked as deeply into his eyes as she dared. Yes, he was not happy, but it wasn't aimed at her or Mickey.

Mickey and Rose were equally silent, but Mickey was less shocked at the Doctor's temper than Rose was. He'd been feeling like he was being ignored by Rose – especially his wishes and his being.

Rose stared at the man she thought of as a super-human hero. “What's the problem?”

The Doctor glared at her. “What just happened is that my most beloved companion, who I would have married had my people not forced me to give her up, just declared who the new torch-bearer is.” He ignored how Rose gasped over the married part. “And it's not you, Rose.”

The Powell Estate girl was frozen in shock.

The Doctor sighed. “And she's right. My job has been harder because of you. I even tried to leave you behind, and you didn't play by the rules. Grab your things and go home, Rose. I'm taking Mickey with me – if he's willing.”

“I am,” was the prompt answer.

“Doctor!” cried Rose in agony.

“Don't beg!” the Doctor snapped. “It's undignified. You're just upset that you're losing your meal ticket out of having a job. Well, it hasn't helped your mother much, and it isn't helping you. Time for you to grow up and get a life instead of waiting for one to come to you, or stealing someone else's!”

She refused to believe her ears. She whipped to face Sarah Jane. “How could you?!”

The Doctor shouted. “Did you really think that I loved you?!”

That silenced her.

“That Dalek was just following your own beliefs, Rose. Not the truth. Now get out before I decide I have to unleash what others have called the Oncoming Storm.”

The restrained fury was enough to frighten Rose into obeying. She was in her room in record time – she would never know that the TARDIS was being helpful to her for the only moment in her entire time aboard – and outside, not caring that the TARDIS wasn't outside Powell Estate. She was more than willing to run home to get away from that frightening... person... that had destroyed her dreams.

And now she wouldn't have Mickey around. He'd be spending his time with the Doctor. And who knew how many times the Doctor would go back to see Sarah Jane?!

Mickey didn't go after Rose. Oh, he'd call Jackie and give her a warning, and later drop Rose's bag with her. But Rose wasn't going to get any contact from him. He might have to block her number, but he was about to be free.

Hmm, he thought. Where would he like to go, if the Doctor gave him a choice? He'd ponder that off in another room, give the Doctor a chance to say goodbye to the lovely Sarah Jane.


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